Anti-dam rallies staged in cities
MUMBAI: Hundreds of representatives of various organisations blocked the Mumbai-Agra highway for nearly half-an-hour near Malegaon in Nashik district in protest against the submergence of the Narmada valley.
Solidarity programmes were held in Mumbai, Chennai, Pune and other places on Sunday in support of the movement against in the Narmada valley.
In Malegaon, the protest was led by the Lok Samiti's Dr Sanjay Joshi and other activists from a number of other organisations. The protesters accused the state government of allowing the submergence in a calculated manner in connivance with the ``dam-builders' lobby'' in Gujarat forcing people to leave their villages. They also condemned the `betrayal' of the adivasi people by the state government.
According to a Narmada Bacaho Andolan (NBA) spokesperson the protesters were later arrested.
In the city, activists and personalities from various walks of life gathered on Saturday night at the Gateway of India and pledged to strengthen the people's movement for their rights, life and resources in the Narmada valley. At the stroke of midnight, hundreds of candles were lit and the participants resolved that they would strive for sustainable and equitable development.
In Chennai, over hundred youths associated with the Association of India's Development (AID) held a candle-light vigil on Saturday night at the IIT campus. They have also undertaken a signature campaign in a letter to the president K R Narayanan appealing him to stall any further work on the dam. Similar programmes were organised in number of universities in the U.S.
In Pune, the NBA supporters' group and organisations associated with the National Alliance For People's Movement (NAPM) held a dharna on Independence Day.